The “Game of Thrones” universe got even bigger on Sunday, with a hefty dose of new characters entering the realm of the HBO television show.
For those who are trying to keep up on the show (and not already an expert thanks to reading George R.R. Martin’s books), AccessHollywood.com presents our weekly roundup of new characters from the latest episode (Season 3, Episode 302).
Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster)
How He Was Introduced: Just after Bran Stark attempted to take aim at a three-eyed raven hopping from branch to branch (with a little help from his brothers – Jon Snow and Robb Stark), Jojen Reed made his first appearance in the dream sequence, offering sage advice to the youngster. He later appeared (along with his weapon-wielding sister Meera) when Bran was awake.
Characters He’s Tied To: Bran Stark, Rickon Stark, Hodor, Osha and Meera Reed
Where You’ve Seen Thomas Before: Every holiday season, Thomas can be seen across the cable dial on repeat airings of 2003 film “Love Actually,” playing Sam, the love struck son of Liam Neeson’s Daniel. He also played Simon Brown, who caused some trouble for Emma Thompson’s “Nanny McPhee” in that 2005 film. He also voices – well, when he’s heard anyway — Ferb in the animated series “Phineas and Ferb.”
Lady Olenna, aka The Queen of Thorns (Dame Diana Rigg)
How She Was Introduced: Greeting Sansa Stark and offering her condolences for the loss of her father (Ned Stark) before quickly becoming the fantasy TV series equivalent of Dame Maggie Smith’s “Downton Abbey” character, the Dowager Countess, by tossing out barbs at the expense of the late King Renly, her grandson Ser Loras, and her own son, The Lord of Highgarden.
Characters She’s Tied To: Her granddaughter – the ambitious Margaery Tyrell (who is engaged to King Joffrey) and The Knight of The Flowers – Ser Loras Tyrell (Renly’s lover in Seasons 1 and 2).
Where You’ve Seen Diana Before: Dame Diana played Emma Peel in 1960s British television series, “The Avengers,” a program a young George R.R. Martin was a big fan of, something he told Access Hollywood about at Comic-Con last year. The Dame was also, rather famously, a “Bond” girl, starring alongside one-time Bond portrayer George Lazenby in 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
Orell (Mackenzie Crook)
How He Was Introduced: Sitting on some snow in the territory North of The Wall, Orell was first seen using his abilities as a warg (a skinchanger) to go into the mind of a raven (his eyes were completely white as he inhabited the creature). When he came back to his body, Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall (Ciaran Hinds) asked him what he saw while scouting. His answer, “dead crows,” (as in dead men from the Night’s Watch).
Characters He’s Tied To: Ygritte, Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane and Mance Rayder
Where You’ve Seen Mackenzie Before: Playing Gareth in the British version of “The Office” (the character Dwight Schrute was based on). He also plays Ragetti in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, a pirate who has quite lot of trouble trying to keep his glass eyeball in while sailing the seas. But, despite his comedy background, don’t expect Mackenzie to bring the laughs as Orell. In an interview earlier this week, the British actor told Access how much he enjoyed being called on for this serious role.
Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick)
How She Was Introduced: After Jojen (see above) appeared for the second time in front of Bran (this time, not in a dream), Osha held a spear to his neck. Meera (Jojen’s sister) quickly came up behind the wildling woman and held a knife to her throat. As Jojen said (after the conflict resolved itself), the Reed siblings have come, “a long way” to find Bran.
Characters She’s Tied To: Jojen, Bran Stark, Rickon Stark, Osha and Hodor
Where You’ve Seen Ellie Before: Playing Tina, a friend of Carey Mulligan’s Jenny Mellor in 2009’s “An Education,” which received a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. She also appeared as Ivy Morris in the PBS series “Upstairs Downstairs.”
Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye)
How He Was Introduced: Singing his way through the forest before he came upon Arya Stark, Gendry and Hot Pie. Part of the Brotherhood without Banners, Thoros told the young group they had to come with him for a meal. He was particularly interested in how they escaped from the horrible place they were held in Season 2 – Harrenhal.
Characters He’s Tied To: Arya, Gendry, Hot Pie and Sandor Clegane (aka The Hound), who made an appearance at the end of the episode and outed the dirty girl in disguise as the noble Arya Stark.
Where You’ve Seen Paul Before: Paul has appeared across television screens in Britain, including small roles in “Skins” and the BBC America import series, “Being Human.” The actor and comedian is well-known in his native UK for his character Dennis Pennis, who became infamous for getting a rise out of celebrities during interviews (like he did with Hugh Grant in this YouTube clip.)
“Game of Thrones” airs Sunday nights at 9 PM on HBO.
“Boy” (Iwan Rheon)
How He Was Introduced: The brown-haired, blue-eyed young man was seen sweeping in the corner of the chamber where Theon Greyjoy was being tortured. After the torturers left, the young man approached Theon and untwisted a screw that had been twisted into the Iron Island man’s foot. He did not give his name but said he’d been sent by Theon’s sister, and would come back for Theon later. (When Iwan’s casting was announced back in July 2012, HBO described his character in a mysterious fashion, simply calling him “BOY.” No spoilers here, but book readers probably have a good idea of who this character is.)
Characters He’s Related To: Theon Greyjoy, The men torturing Theon.
Where You’ve Seen Iwan Before: Iwan previously starred alongside “GOT” Season 2 cast member Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H’ghar) in the film, “Resistance” in 2011. He also starred in the British television series “Misfits” (available on Hulu), which featured Michelle Fairley (Catelyn) in a small role as a mother of one of the misfits.
-- Jolie Lash